Sunday, January 20, 2008

Notes from the teenage underground

Notes from the teenage underground

By Simmone Howell

A refreshing novel, going places unexpected, in an interesting and challenging way.

Gem is determined to do something special these school holidays. With her two friends, Mira and Lo, she determines to make a film that will be an expression of who she really is – a statement about art and feminism. The three friends agree to have a summer that is extreme, anti-establishment and avant-garde.

Friendship and family are the main themes of this story. Howell gives an intimate view into the break-up of a friendship, the slow journey over time where motivations are suspect, agendas are revealed, and once-shared goals become different. Gem struggles to understand her place in the group, her place in the world, and her place in her family. Her interest in Warhol’s life, and her understanding of several famous women in history, all impact on her choices and decisions.

An exciting writing style, with cleverly characterised dialogue, make this book a joy to read.

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